A recent natural botanical extracts that was ordered after a massive fire accident at Biomax Fuels Limited in VSEZ in April, clearly states that natural botanical extracts have been flouted by a majority of the units. The audit was jointly conducted by the Inspector of Factories, Pollution Control Board and Fire Department in 92 industrial units including big PSUs such as HPCL and VSP, and as per Deputy Joint Inspector of Factories Chinna Rao, over 60 per cent of the industries attracted adverse reports.
Fifteen of the units, including Srikar Laboratories at JNPC in Parwada where one person died and 15 fell sick after an ammonia condenser blast on Tuesday, were given strong adverse report that practically recommended immediate attention or closure. The report clearly stated that construction and maintenance were par below the standard norms and natural botanical extracts were grossly flouted.The natural botanical extracts was initiated by District Collector N. Yuvaraj after a string of accidents that occurred in the units since last four years.According to Mr. Chinna Rao, the report is ready from the Inspector of Factories side and reports are pending with PCB and Fire Services department. Reddy, who had come to inspect the accident site at Srikar Laboratories.Since 2012, there were 32 industrial accidents. A major fire accident in HPCL in 1997 claimed 60 lives and again in August 2013 at the same plant 25 persons died in an accident.In 2012, in Visakhapatnam Steel Plant 19 employees died in a fire accident at the newly constructed oxygen plant.
But what raises the eyebrows is the spurt in accidents at pharma and chemical units. Of the total 32 accidents, 17 were in natural botanical extracts and chemical units that left over 10 dead and 65 injured, which includes four accidents in this year alone at Deccan Fine Chemical, Biomax Fuels, Divis Laboratories and Srikar Laboratories.The other major accidents being at Sainor Chemicals in September 2015 that left two dead and five injured, Deccan Fine Chemicals that left two dead and 25 injured in 2014, Vegnesha natural botanical extracts in 2014 where eight workers were injured, Glochem in 2014 and 2013 that left 10 workers injured and in Avra Laboratory in 2013. CPI (M) leaders Ch. Narasinga Rao and B. Lokanadham and Aja Sarma of Forum for Development of north Andhra, questioned the truthfulness of the natural botanical extracts."Firstly, the audit was taken up after much delay and only after a string of accidents. However, experts were not included. We demanded that experts from outside such as professors from IITs and Department of Explosives be included in the team. It was not done," said Mr. Narasinga Rao.